Our Trailnet Champion: Our 2021 Summer Intern! Meet Hannah!


Our Trailnet Champion: Our 2021 Summer Intern! Meet Hannah!

Trailnet is honored to offer enriching internships every year that allow people to gain experience building a better, more connected St. Louis. Trailnet interns come from dynamic backgrounds and are immediately plugged in to our exciting work. This month, we’re highlighting Hannah Hirsch, one of our talented 2021 summer interns.

Read on to learn about how Hannah is dedicated to working towards a more sustainable planet with active transportation options for all.

Hannah Hirsch

1) What you did this summer (outside of Trailnet)?

Outside of my work at Trailnet, I enjoyed my first summer in St. Louis where I was able to get to know the city without the stress of academics. I met a bunch of new, great people with whom I explored different local shops, neighborhoods, and events. To name a few examples, I spent a lot of time in Forest Park where I got to witness cool areas I had never seen before and enjoy nature in an urban environment. I love thrifting and I explored new shops where I enjoyed both browsing and the occasional purchase. I also attended live music shows in Tower Grove Park and frequented the farmers market.  

2) What you’re studying in school?  

I am pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Economics at WashU. I hope to use my knowledge in the future to play a role in developing climate solutions that challenge current norms and transition ourselves to a more circular economy.

3) What drew you to intern at Trailnet? 

My interest in the environment both personally and academically drew me to intern at Trailnet as I desired to dig deeper into the organization’s efforts to connect neighborhoods and make streets safer for biking and walking, which are important carbon-neutral alternatives to most popular forms of transportation. My initial interest grew into an understanding of street connectivity as a goal not only to better the climate, but as a must for equity and a more cohesive city.

4) What about your time at Trailnet was valuable to your career?

Having an opportunity to work hands-on with a grant writing project is a unique experience that I was provided at Trailnet, which I cannot say I would have been offered elsewhere. I felt valued as a team member during meetings and working one-on-one with staff despite my role as an intern, challenging me to think more critically, quickly, and creatively. Taking ownership of a project and its timeline from beginning to end will prove to be critical experience in any career I ultimately pursue.

5) What has been the most fun Trailnet project to work on or learn about?  

Apart from my grant writing project, I enjoyed accompanying Sam to tabling events and getting to know different St. Louis neighborhoods. In addition to immersing myself in local community events, it was interesting to take speed data at the same intersection over time and see for myself how infrastructure changes have the power to calm traffic and create safer streets.

6) What do you do like to do for fun?

In my free time I enjoy reading, listening to music, exploring and spending time with friends, and other relaxing activities. It has been harder to make time for these as the school year has started, but I’ve been doing my best to keep in the loop with local events. Recently I’ve seen live music at Blueberry Hill, visited the farmers’ market on the Delmar Loop, and explored the Hill, to name a few..

Thank you so much Hannah for you time and work at Trailnet! You are so wonderful, and we all wish you a wonderful school year!